It’s been a pretty quiet week out there in the world of gaming news since developers are back home, enjoying time with their families. This is a great time for reviewers to reflect and discuss their impressions of 2012.
Seems as though — after all the two-cents weighing reviewers have weighed in — Dishonored, Far Cry 3, Mass Effect 3, The Walking Dead and [especially] Journey are the games walking away with all the awards this year. But what was everyone’s true, overall impression of 2012?
It was the year of the mixed bag. No AAA titles came out and truly made heads turn the way that indie games did. We saw the great fanboy uprising after Mass Effect’s ending and the rise of DLC add-ons to purchase, as well as a spike in sales of downloadable independent game purchases.
As I wrote earlier this week (in my article entitled, ‘The Year of the Indie Game‘), this year has surely changed the face of the gaming market forever. But I don’t think anyone really knows what’s in store for us in the next few years to come. 2013 will be the year that we, as gamers, will see the start of things to come. More than likely, we will see a next-generation of gaming consoles from Microsoft and Sony to which could go a vast variance of specs (not limited to the CPU, but the actual disc-format or if it will be download only or…well, pretty much anything goes at this point.).
Reflecting on the past ten-years of gaming, I realized that Sony and Microsoft may have killed the market almost entirely by releasing their systems with the intent to survive a decade. Every generation previous lasts approximately between 3-5 years, with 360 coming into its 7th year, and with the gaming crowd shift, this is the most uncertain gamers have ever been on the future.
After the Wii successfully attracted a new casual market, iPad (and the entire tablet gang) finished it off by destroying the conception of what a gamer is. By the console powerhouses dragging their feet they’ve allowed for new [and potentially stronger] console powerhouses to be born.
Ouya should see its release within the next month-and-a-half; Valve/Steam will be joining in the living room gaming war; speculation that an Apple gaming devoted console like the Ouya may be in development; Technology like the Smart-Glass application launched, towards the end of this year, to some pretty positive responses.
Nintendo, with the release of the Wii and new casual market that followed suit, may have ended up performing seppuku due to their casual market success. Next-gen domination is usually the strongest with whoever releases a system first, but that system will also be sold out for most of that first year alone on the market.
Wii U released just before Black Friday and the corresponding holiday season to only sell out the first shipment before stagnantly sitting out the rest of the season on store shelves. To a company that has been struggling in the past few years to retake the console market, Nintendo needs to start thinking bigger to keep their heads above water on this one. This writer/lifelong fan is truly hoping that they have another, more creative console up their sleeves to release in the next several years or they will, more than likely, disappear from the home market — focusing on the handheld market instead.
Reeling back to my beginning point: 2013 will pick-up where 2012 is leaving off and will entirely mold the gaming market as we know it. This coming year will be the most impactful and important year of our lives as gamers. This year, far above any before it, will be the year to closely watch. None of us, not even the developers themselves, can really predict what will be in store for 2013 or beyond and it will forever change in the blink of an eye.